The Charlatans and Just Jack are set to mentor the finalists of Road to V - the UK's biggest and longest running search for unsigned musical talent.
With a history of V Festival performances to their name, now on their tenth studio album and famous for a string of hits including indie classics such as "The Only One I Know" and "Weirdo", The Charlatans will be mentoring the ten finalists of the competition, before two winners are eventually decided by a public vote.
The recruitment of Just Jack and The Charlatans as mentors marks a first for Virgin Media, which has refreshed the format of Road to V for 2009, offering entrants the chance to be nurtured by established musicians for the very first time.
The two winning acts will open up the mighty V Festival, which takes place this summer, in Chelmsford and Stafford on 22nd to 23rd August 2009.
The Charlatans EXCLUSIVE interview with Jenny May:
Jenny May: What are you planning to do as mentor for the finalists of the Road to V unsigned band competition?
Martin: We're looking forward to basically hanging out and playing with them. It was important to us to find someone who is good enough to open V Festival now - not in 3 or 4 months time.
Jon: For me, when it comes to talking to a band who's just starting out, it's really important we tell the truth. We're not out to give advice necessarily because usually people do the opposite - just tell the truth. It's a big deal, advice - and the last thing we want to do is be condescending.
So far, which V Festival has been the best one that you've played at and why?
Jon: 2008 V Festival was great last year because we headlined. We really like being able to play outdoors. Everyone there was just really nice. Good and decent.
Tony: Yeah, V was great. I also have a special place in my heart for the first Isle of Wight. We had a great spot at Glastonbury one year at dusk.
What tracks/artists have you been listening to lately?
Tim: Wow. Ummm, I'm really liking La Roux right now. They're sort of an electro outfit. Really great.
How have things changed for bands since The Charlatans started out, compared to bands starting out now?
Tony: It's a lot easier and a lot harder. Easier because you can sound really great for really cheap, but at the same time there are so many more people all trying to do the same.
Mark: You can do so many amazing things with a laptop. Producing a really quality tune for cheap is really easy now versus when we were starting out, but it still boils down to creativity and professionalism.
What is your songwriting process as a band?
Tim: It really depends on who's most passionate. We don't all five of us sit down in the same room and write songs together. Usually it's a singular idea brought in and...
Mark: Expounded on.
Who has inspired you the most musically?
Tim: New Order. A band called The Prisoners.
Jon: The Stone Roses. They did sort of a similar thing with mentoring us as we're doing for bands in Road to V. They really took us under their wing when we went on tour in the beginning of the band.
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